EPAcertified wood stoves have a higher-temperature burn rate

Technical questions that one would like posed to experts
(scientists) in fields related to particulate pollution.

Postby turning_blue » Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:52 pm

Do EPA certified wood stoves have a higher-temperature burn rate than older wood stoves and ordinary fireplaces? If so do fireplace inserts also have a higher-temperature burn rate?
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Fireplaces

Postby Ernest Grolimund » Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:57 pm

TB: EPA fireplaces were designed to let in more air by natural convection because it is well known that more air increases combustion and temperature and decreases pollution. The new pellet boilers use forced air like a bellows. Remember what happens with a bellows? The embers get hot and glow more. More surface area helps. Less moisture helps. Catalysts in the fuel help like lighter fluid.

But a CAR article points out that half the stoves the EPA tested were polluting like old stoves. They listed hardwood or softwood being burned as an important factor as well as cleaning. There are too many factors for an average person to control in my mind. It's taken awhile to come to this conclusion because I believed the EPA information that epa stoves would reduce pm by 90%. Study of Mary's scathing reply makes me come around to her position but I have to say that theoretically an EPA stove could remove 90% of the pollution because it has been observed for one year at least. But the technology is certainly not reliable, and letting 50% of the stoves be polluting while everyone thinks they are the pollution answer is not conducive to public health. If they put out 30 mcg/m3 of pm2.5, then that is enough to cause astma and heart attacks according to Dr. Brown and Hospitals. Every scientist I talk to says verbally that they think 30 mcg/m3 is a reasonable figure for pm2.5 but no one will put that in writing. I am talking about Richard Grieves, an M.S. in the Maine DEP and Gil Woods from the EPA emissions dept. and others. If it does not cause asthma attacks according to the EPA who have not recognized this yet, it can cause local hotspots that violate EPA ambient air standards. For instance, in calmwinds ambient air gets to 30 mcg/m3 once a week and the design value for pm in Maine is 30 mcg/m3. Add an ave 15 mcg/m3 from a 12 hr fire and you have 45 mcg/m3 for 24 hr which is illegal.
This may help those facing fireplace pollution. Dirty fireplaces with especially choked fires may be worse than average too. Creosote can really smell and is an indicator of above average pollution from lack of maintenance. If you have theoretical values of pollution showing a danger and smell indicating danger and some kind of emission monitoring showing a problem, then you have sources checking each other which is ideal. That is what I had and my neighbor may have known that I was working on both the theory and monitoring of pollution and that may have been why he all but stopped burning.

That and a friendly reminder that smoking cigarettes can cause heart attacks and stuff like that. Little short letters with mind blowing facts are likely to be read if they are courteous and show concern for him too. Make a nuisance out of yourself to some degree. A short letter every week couldn't hurt. or could it? Only you can judge.
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